Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Desire 600 - dual SIM device review

The Desire was 's well known flagship in 2010, since then their flagship brand was replaced by the One series, however due to its successful history the Desire name is still being used for the mid to low end range relses. If you want the short version of this review:The best thing about the Desire 600 is the build quality, it's a mid-range premium phone.

A Mid-Range Premium

Shortly after the relse of the One, announcedtheDesire 600 dual simwith many of its big brother's ftures - mainly Sense 5, Blinkfeed and Boomsound. It also includes Highlights, but omits the Infra Red blaster andUltrapixelsensor (2.0µm). Instd, it's replaced with a standard 8MP BSI camera sensor (1.4µm) and the first version of the Chip - this also mns that the Zoe ftures are lost in the process. It joins the fleet of other dual sim specialists like last yr'sDesire SVandOne dual sim(limited to specific markets).
Design & build quality

Being mid-range doesn't prevent it from carrying 's renowned build quality and in fact the device has some impressive highlights: the screen is protected by a robust metallic frame which also houses the dual spker grilles, this in turn is surrounded by a plastic bezel with a very convincing brushed metallic finish.
The black version is full black contrasted with a glossy spker frame, matte brushed bezel and a back cover with a matte grained finish which does a very good job of resisting fingerprints. Unfortunately the back's finish feels slightly irritating to the touch and fails to provide maximum grip.
The white version on other hand has a more daring and different finish, it has the spkers' frame coated in red, the brushed bezel painted in silver and smooth glossy white plastic for the back cover.

The plastic back cover is removable: it's pretty solid but as is typical with such removable covers, it can crk under pressure.Benth the cover cover lie two microSIM slots and a microSD slot as well as a replacble 1860mAh battery - like everything the interior has surprisingly fine fit and polish.

The camera lens and LED flash are covered by a protective glass bevelled inwards which should prevent it from collecting scratches.
The buttons have a nice, solid feel as well. The power button is at top right; volume rocker on the right hand side; and the capacitive buttons are similar to the One, with 'back' on the left, 'home' on the right and the logo in between. The rest is taken care of with gestures. Finally a 3.5mm audio jack is loed at top left, and the micro-USB port is on the bottom.

All in all this is a very well built device with a sharp look (especially the black version). The slim tapered edge is reminiscent of the black 8x and compared to competitors' mid-range devices, the Desire 600 build quality and design are miles ahd.

Boomsound versus Boomsound
The Desires 600 the One's star fture, dual frontal stereo spkers with built-in amplifiers. This is "only" a mid range phone so you might expect less quality, compared with its big brother: but far from it! Compared to the One flagship it's just a notch lower in loudness and noticbley less bass. Curiously while the One sounds significantly better with bts audio, the Desire 600 actually sounds better once the default bts enhancements are disabled: lving it enabled seems to result in a more hollow sound. With this said, the quality is still excellent for its range, bting flagship devices from opposing brands.
If you would like to know more about the One's phenomenal sound quality be sure to check our post: One review - part 2: Hardware

Display, 4.5" Super L2 at 245ppi

The screen is another quality seeker on the Desire 600: despite a qHD resolution (960x540), it's running on a 4.5" panel which results in a respectable 245ppi pixel density. The display still inherits all the other Super L2 merits from last yr's flagship the One X (720p, 312ppi) which was lauded for its screen quality.Thanks to optical lamination it has excellent view angles and deeper blacks; there is no gap between the glass and L itself which makes the screen appr afloat. While not as sharp, colorful or contrasted as the One X, the screen is still significantly better than the Pentile Amoled qHD screen on last yr's premium One S.

Camera, 8MP with last yr's killer ftures
Instd of the ultrapixel (a low-light loving sensor with 2.0µm pixel size), the Desire 600 uses a standard wide angle 8MP BSI sensor with 1.4µm pixel size, but keeps the same f2.0 aperture and 28mm unique wide angle lens as the flagship. It also includes the older Chip from last yr's flagships which gives us powers like HDR, burst shooting and Pic (take still shots during capture) as well as super fast shutter/focus, slow motion and flash metering: however it loses all the fancy Zoe ftures, which are enabled by a newer Chip 2 on the One. recording maxes out at 720p; most likely due to the lesser capabilities of the Snapdragon 200 SOC.
Daylight pictures are of good quality but slightly hurt by 's default aggressive digital sharpness: thankfully you can always reduce sharpness using the Adjustments menu in the camera app. In terms of low light it's perfectly usable when scaled down, especially indoor shots but 1:1 detail gets seriously degraded due to the smaller pixel size. Unfortunately HDR; which was flawless on last yr's One X; fails to do a good daylight job here (curiously it's the same issue as on the One). On the other hand there is a grt "HDR low light" fture in Sense 5: when used alongside the LED flash, the camera snaps two shots - one with flash and another without for mixed exposure, it gives far superior results to the washed out colors of standard LED flash photography.
Sense 5 in duality
The tested device was preloaded with 1.17.707.3 firmware (Android 4.1.2) & Sense 5.0. This is the same well praised UI from the full fledged One; it is a known quantity by now so let's focus on the advertised ftures of the Desire 600, BlinkFeed, Highlights and dual SIM convenience.
Blinkfeed is 's version of Flipboard, it compiles news and posts from various sources (including your social media) in a nice scrolling layout embedded as the main home screen. You can't disable Blinkfeed - but you can set another home screen as your main one, and Blinkfeed will get moved to the right: you can also disable it further by removing newsfeed sources.
Highlights is a fture which automatically compiles a reel from your photos and s in your phone's gallery. This works based on an event's time and loion (you need to select your gallery content to be sorted by events). You can choose different preset themes for different effects and music. This is all done in rl time and it works surprisingly well considering the modest Snapdragon 200 SoC in this phone. If you like the end results you can then save it as an H264 MP4 to keep or share.
The two Sense 5 ftures which are missing compared to the One are Sense and Zoe, which rely on the One's hardware (IR blaster and Chip2).

The way the dual-SIM functionality works is interesting; Sense 5 was revised with this in mind. For example, you can choose Slot 1 or Slot 2 straight from the dialler - and an improvement over the Desire SV is that you can now receive notifiions about two calls at the same time... you can even answer both calls and the first one will be placed on Hold. Throughout the UI there are other optimisations to help you use both s without mix-ups.

One thing to keep in mind about a device in this range: while it will surely receive maintenance updates from , unlike the high end don't expect a long term commitment regarding Android (or maybe even Sense) updates.
In terms of connectivity, only one of the two microSIM slots supports 3G/3.5G (HSPA) - the other only supports 2G/2.5G (Edge). The Desire 600 also includes GPS/GLONASS, NFC and Bluetooth 4.0 with APTX support.

Performance, aslowquad core

Here we arrive at my main niggle with this device: while it is mid-range it's still not an entry level device - and priced at around 400$ we should expect a decent performer. Unfortunately this 1.2ghz Snapdragon 200 SoC variety includes quad A5 cores and an Adreno 203 GPU along with a 1GB of DDR2 RAM. The quad will certainly assist in multitasking preventing long waits or hangs (which mns it does well in certain benchmarks) but in terms of raw processing power the A5 is merely adequate and the entry level GPU is overstretched by the qHD resolution. This is why the Desire 600's UI is nowhere nr as snappy or smooth as the One Mini. You'll find that you can improve the smoothness of the UI by enabling "Force GPU" and "Disable HW overlays" from the hidden developers options.
For those interested here are some benchmarks and system details:

Gaming, an entry level GPU

Given the affordable price, excellent stereo spkers with built-in amplifiers and a good quality screen, you can enjoy casual gaming on this device and lighter games. Temple Run 2 ran extremely smoothly in medium graphics mode (laggy if raised to high): but hvier 3D games like Fast & Furious 6 had most graphics intact, yet with a very poor frame rate. Ripetide GP2 ran with most fancy graphics enabled but at a poor (unplayable) frame rate: however reducing the game resolution or graphics effects from the in-game settings did improve things.
In order to assess the GPU let's check the following GFXBench comparative, this is run onscreen since it reflects actual 3D gaming at the device's native screen resolution:
One,T-Rex HD15fps, Egypt HD40fps(onscreen FHD - Adreno 320) One S,T-Rex HD11.3fps, Egypt HD28.4fps(onscreen qHD- Adreno 225) One Mini,T-Rex HD9.3fps, Egypt HD24.2fps(onscreen HD - Adreno 305) Sensation XE,T-Rex HD5.9fps, Egypt HD16.3fps(onscreen qHD- Adreno 220) One X,T-Rex HD5.5fps, Egypt HD15fps(onscreen HD- Tegra 3) Desire 500,T-Rex HD4.7fps, Egypt HD11.9fps(onscreen WVGA - Adreno 203) Desire 600,T-Rex HD4.0fps, Egypt HD10fps(onscreen qHD - Adreno 203) Sensation XL,T-Rex HD3.1fps, Egypt HDfail(onscreen WVGA - Adreno 205)
Explorer,T-Rex HD0.9fps, Egypt HD3.5fps(onscreen HVGA - Adreno 200)
You can clrly see the Desire 600 is around the bottom of the list: its modest GPU is over stretched by the qHD resolution. Adreno 203 seems to have been updated over the old Adreno 205, it fares better on the WVGA Desire 500, but it's nowhere nr as fast as the Adreno 305 on the One Mini or Galaxy S4 Mini/Duos - and the One's graphics power seems like a distant drm.

Battery life

The included 1860mAh battery sounds good on paper but in practice with dual SIMs and data connections fully engaged you will be lucky if it lasts you the full day. Of course your mie will vary but connectivity is the biggest drainer here - use with care.


The most impressive aspects of the Desire 600 are design; build quality; sound and screen quality. There is no doubt can design and build better than most - even if mid-range, even if plastic. Couple that with an impressive list of ftures thanks to Sense 5, plus some unique hardware, and you have a rlly nice, slimmed down, affordable One experience with an added dual SIM functionality: a "rson to buy" for many.
I can not but wish it had the Snapdragon 400 with dual Krait cores and Adreno 305 instd of the average SoC it's carrying, quad core or otherwise, it would have been a killer mid-ranger. Surely this must be the rson why just announced the Desire 601 with Snapdragon 400 (and there are rumors of a dual sim variety).

Alternatively if you are around this budget and dual sims are not required, you can simply buy last yr's flagship the One X (or One X+) andupdate it to Sense 5: you would have an acclaimed smartphone with a vastly superior speed, screen and camera.

Hardware Summary:
+ Excellent build quality and designfor the price+ Excellent stereo spkers with built-in amplifiers+ Good quality screen with excellent view angles+ Dual SIM convenience with good UI integration+ Impressive automatically erated Highlights in the gallery+ Speedy camera thanks to Chip

- Low End Snapdragon 200 SOC despite a quad core CPU- Struggling Adreno 203 GPU for qHD resolution, limited gaming- Slippery back cover

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Official Desire 600 dual sim Specifiions:
SIZE:134.8 x 67 x 9.26mmWEIGHT:130gDISPLAY:4.5" qHDSuper L2
CPU SPEEDQualcomm® Snapdragon™ 200, quad-core, 1.2GHzPLATFORMAndroid™ with Sense™ BlinkFeed™ROM/RAM MEMORYTotal storage: 8GB, (available capacity varies)Expansion card slot supports microSD™ for up to 64GB additional storage (card not included)RAM:1GB DDR2NETWORK2G/ 2.5G - GSM/GPRS/EDGE: 900/1800/1900 MHz3G/ 3.5G - UMTS/ HSPA: 900/2100 MHz with HSDPA up to 7.2 MbpsDual SIM (microSIM) with ‘dual active’ supportSENSORSAccelerometerProximity sensorAmbient light sensorCONNECTIVITY3.5 mm stereo audio jackNFC capableBluetooth® 4.0 with aptX™ enabledWi-Fi®: IEEE 802.11 b/g/nDLNA® for wirelessly strming media from the phone to a compatible or computer ConnectSOUND ENHANCEMENT BoomSound™Dual frontal stereo spkers with built-in amplifiersStudio-quality sound with Bts Audio™CAMERA8 MP camera with auto focus, LED flashBSI sensor, Sensor size 1/3.2"Dedied ChipF2.0 aperture and 28 mm lensSmart Flash: Five levels of flash automatically set by distance to subjectFront Camera: 1.6 MP with BSI sensor720p recordingGallery with Highlights and ShareContinuous shooting and PicSlow motion recording with variable speed playbackMULTIMEDIAAudio supported formats:Playback: .aac, .amr, .ogg, .m4a, .mid, ., .wav, .wmaRecording: .aa supported formats:Playback: .3gp, .3g2, .mp4, .wmv ( Media 9), .avi (MP4 ASP and ) Recording: .mp4LOIONGPS/AGPS+GLONASS (for Russia & EU)GPS/AGPS (for Asia & others)BATTERYRemovable rechargble Li-polymer batteryCapacity: 1860 mAhTalk time: Up to 11.1 hours for WMA Up to 11.4 hours for GSMStandby timev: Up to 577 hours for WMA Up to 539 hours for GSM

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